The false debate about the property taxes in Ireland.

On taxes, Newt could agree with most of the United Left Alliance principles.

On taxes, Newt could agree with most of the United Left Alliance principles.

Let's call a spade a spade here. Next year, when some form of property tax does emerge, based on the value of a home or the site, Joe Higgins and Richard Boyd Barrett will not rush out and tell everyone to pay it, even if people with more expensive homes are taxed more. Why not? For the same reason they will not support a water tax, and that is that Joe and RBB may talk left, but they are actually Tea Party style anti-tax populists. Don't forget, these are the same "leftists" who took to the street to defend the rights of wealthy middle-class families not to have to pay college fees, taking money from the budget to fund middle class and upper kids whilst poorer kids could not get higher maintenance grants.

The kernel at the heart of left wing philosophy is the common good through common sacrifice. But not the Irish Left, who advocate a spineless smoke and mirrors common good funded by magical baddies picking up the tab. They argue that we should not be paying the debts of reckless bankers. It's a fair point, but it still does not recognise that even if that had not happened we would have a huge budget deficit. Sure, we could have gone to the bond markets to fund the gap, but it was so huge that surely the bond markets would have thought that we were going Greek (to coin a phrase) and started putting up our interest rates. Either way, it always come sto the same thing. Sustainable public services must be funded by the sustainable taxing of the common majority, and on that concept, Richard Boyd Barrett might as well be Newt Gingrich.  


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